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Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad with
Arugula, Mint, Basil and Ricotta Salad

Serves 6-8 as a side salad

This recipe was a Taste of Sonoma Perfect Pairing with the Everett Ridge dry Rosé wine.

Don’t be surprised that tomatoes and watermelon work well together—the sweetness plays off the acidity for a lovely flavor combination. Add bits of tangy cheese, pungent herbs and peppery greens to round it out.

¼ cup            VIVO vinegar, or other good quality red wine vinegar
1 tsp              kosher salt
¼ tsp             freshly ground black pepper
½ cup            good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs.             heirloom tomatoes, mixed colors, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small           watermelon, red or yellow, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch         fresh basil, julienne
1 bunch         fresh mint, julienne
4 oz.              ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
8 oz.              arugula

To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Set aside. (The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store it in a tightly-sealed jar and refrigerate. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature until the olive oil liquefies, about 20 minutes, before shaking to blend.)

To make the salad, toss the tomatoes, watermelon, mint, basil and cheese in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Serve immediately.

For a more elegant presentation, slice the tomatoes into rounds and the watermelon into triangles the same thickness as the tomatoes. Layer the tomato and watermelon slices (like a "Napolean") with julienned basil and mint leaves, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese. Serve.


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